Biography: Jim Bridenstine was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 from Oklahoma’s First District. He defeated a five term incumbent Republican in the primary and easily won the general. He ran unopposed in 2014 and in the 2016 general election, after winning 81% in the 2016 primary. He self-limited to three terms, running against career politicians and for constitutional government.
A social, fiscal, and national security conservative, Bridenstine has lifetime scores of 92% (Heritage Action), 96% (FreedomWorks), 96% (Club for Growth), 93% (American Conservative Union), and 97% (Conservative Review). He has consistently supported veterans’ issues and a strong military.
Bridenstine has become regarded as a leading lawmaker on space issues. He is integrally involved in promoting national security space issues through his role on the House Armed Services Committee and annual defense authorization legislation. On the Science, Space, and Technology Committee he chairs the subcommittee on the Environment and serves on the subcommittee on Space. SpaceNews named his as one of five people “making a difference in space” in 2015.
Military Biography: Bridenstine served nine years’ active duty in the Navy (1998 – 2007). He flew the E-2C Hawkeye in combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the E-2C pilot, he had command and control responsibility over the theater of operations. He made 333 carrier-arrested landings on the carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln.
While still on active duty, Bridenstine transitioned to flying the F-18 Hornet at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
In 2010, he joined the Navy Reserves, again flying E-2C Hawkeyes on missions in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 2012.
In 2015, Bridenstine transitioned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard, where he will fly with an MC-12 squadron stationed in Oklahoma City.